Mayo cyclists conquer Everesting

Cycling Everesting on a virtual simulator ride is one thing, but to actually do it outdoors on repeated hill reps takes it to another level entirely.

But that's a what a group of Mayo riders have done – and it has been validated by Everesting CC.

Up to this point, no Mayo riders had attempted Everesting outside in the elements of wind, rain and anything else Mother Nature could throw at them.

On Friday, August 21, Ballina man Eamon Nealon successfully completed his Everesting Roam Challenge of the mythical mountain that is Ladies Brae, Co. Sligo, and he now enters the Everesting CC Hall of Fame as Ireland’s only finisher of the challenge.

The Everesting challenge involves cycling the same hill or mountain repetitively to scale, cumulatively, the same height as Mount Everest – a total of 8,848 metres,, However, as Eamon opted to cycle Everesting Roam, he would require 10,000m plus and to cycle a minimum of 400km, with a cut-off time of 36 hours.

This meant that he had to cycle up Ladies Brae 67 times, climbing to a height of 157m on a 6.4km loop to complete the challenge.

Conditions were tough, with the tail end of Storm Ellen throwing wind and rain into the mix, and it was exceptionally cold on the 3.2km descent. Extra cycling clothing wwas required so as to not suffer hypothermia. However, this didn't hold back Eamon in pursuit of his goal.

At basecamp throughout the day were his wife, family and friends, offering him no shortage of encouragement.

Eamon completed this amazing challenge just after 3.30 a.m. on Sunday, August 23, having started the course approximately 30 hours beforehand. He had ridden through one full night and into a second night, covering a distance of 428km cycled to a height of 10,448m – and as an added bonus he rode up Ladies Brae on lap 64 with a puncture before replacing his front wheel.

On the same hill, three more Mayo riders John McGee, Stephen Carolan and Paddy Barrett – started and finished the Everesting Challenge on Ladies Brae.

Said John: “We cycled the height of Everest in one effort. It's quite hard to explain how physically and psychologically difficult it is to cycle up the same hill 65 times, but when you put 8,848m of vertical ascent together with over 250km of Ladies Brae in Sligo, it's gonna hurt a bit! Suffice to say that it makes you ask a few questions of yourself!

“It really was a team effort with so many people that helped out. Thank you to each and every one of you for coming along to support in so many ways – you were there when we needed you and it meant so much.”

The challenge was undertaken as a fundraiser for Mayo Mental Health Association. You can donate on their GoFundMe page – Everesting for Mayo Mental Health Association.

*Pictured above, Eamon Nealon on his way to completing the Everesting Roam Challenge on Ladies Brae, Co. Sligo, last month.